Posted by: Randy Allgaier | August 10, 2008

John Edwards cheated- So what? Do we care that he joins John McCain in the cheaters club?

John Edwards is flawed. He had an affair. So have, according to a report on Good Morning American today, 22% of husbands and 13% of wives. And it seems to be a nonpartisan failing.

What is our obsession with this story- or at least the media’s obsession? And all that righteous puffery blowing from the “right”. How could have done this? Well- how could Senator Vitter have done it, how could Senator Craig have done it? The list goes on- but it would also include the question; how could John McCain do it?

There is no doubt that Democrats have had their scandals too- President Clinton, Governor Spitzer, Former House Speaker Tom Foley come to mind.

So many are outraged that Edwards’ affair occurred while his wife was dealing with cancer. On a personal level- sure I find it sleazy, but I’m not married to the guy and it’s not my business. John Edwards was stupid. Most of these men are. But John McCain? When he cheated he was far from stupid. He left a woman who had suffered a bad car crash for a wealthy blonde who’s family could open up a wallet and help the guy.

On the Huffington Cenk Uygur wrote:

“So, why are McCain’s actions any more excusable than Edwards’? Because it was thirty years ago? Does that wash it away? Will we be fine with Edwards running for office again in a couple of years because then it will all be in the past? What is the statute of limitations on an affair?

Remember Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan and Ross Perot were so upset with how John McCain dealt with his first wife that they didn’t forgive him for a very, very long time. Perot still hasn’t forgiven him. In fact, he said recently about McCain dumping his first wife for Cindy, ‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory.’

So, I want every pundit who condemns John Edwards today to tell me what the difference between him and McCain is and why John McCain shouldn’t also be run out of politics for his adulterous affairs and what he did to his first wife.”

Adultery is not uncommon. I guess it was so common among the ancient Jews God needed to remind them of this by writing not one by two commandment about it – “Thou shall not commit adultery”, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife”. A little overkill in my opinion, but who am I to second guess the word of God.

And lying about adultery and sex- well they are as old as human sexuality. I don’t care if anyone lies about their sex life or their affairs unless I am in an intimate relationship with that person. The only people who should be concerned about lies of infidelity are those in the relationship beyond that it is no one’s business. The outraged moral shock from people like Sean Hannity is repulsive. Not only do people judge the party who has been unfaithful but they judge the decision of the party who make the decision to stay with their spouse and in the case of women who are cheated on; they are treated like little victims. It is patronizing and demeaning and, yes, sexist. Poor Elizabeth, poor Silda, poor Hillary. It isn’t any of our business.

I don’t care if someone lies about sex, I do mind when a President lies about getting us into a war- that is an offense that is truly unforgivable.


  1. I don’t care what John Edwards does….but, it would have been great if the story had broken AFTER he was nominated!!! That would have been so cool to see him hounded for 4 years by a judge in the child support court where Rielle Hunter lives!!!

  2. Well since Rielle Hunter has no interest in having a paternity test done even though John Edwards said he would welcome one; your point is really rather absurd.

  3. He ran for president, with the faith of his dying wife and young children, all the while cheating on her. Millions of people’s faith and donations—the media must punish him for his conduct. If the media doesn’t punish a politician, who will?

  4. Don’t you think that this should be between him and his “dying” wife as you put it? What about John McCain running out on his wife for someone younger and with deeper pockets? Oh yeah- Mr. Edwards isn’t a politican anymore.

  5. Technically, the press is supposed to report. Punishment comes from other places — the justice system (if appropriate, which appears not to be the case this time), or just voters.

    I happen to agree that Edwards has just demonstrated that his word is meaningless, and that when caught in a potentially-damaging lie, his first instinct is to lie again. However, how meaningful that is to his future career is a decision to be made by voters, not the press.

    Voters chose, much to my chagrin, not to care about Bill Clinton’s serial dishonesty, and for reasons that defy explanation, they seem to feel that way about John McCain, as well.

    Of course … if that was the point you were making, just sarcastically, then … well, … never mind.

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